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[466]

Two hours later, Dana dispatched: ‘At about 5 o'clock we heard the cannon of Sheridan, and soon after Wright and Smith attacked Lee's right wing with their whole force. They moved from Cold Harbor in the direction of Mechanicsville. Judging from the sounds of artillery and musketry, the fight was furious. . . . At about 6 o'clock Warren attacked in the center, but apparently not with much force. His firing is that of a lively skirmish. Immediately upon Wright's attack, the enemy moved out on his left against Hancock, as if to try what strength we had in that direction. He was decisively repulsed. Hancock followed up the repulse, but was not able to get over the rebel works, and fell back to his own lines.’ At 6 a. m., of the 2d, Dana again wrote, of the contests of the 1st:

It appears that the rebels three times assaulted the lines of Griffin, and they came up in three lines. They were terribly slaughtered by canister, and went back in disorder every time. Wright carried the rebel works before him, but withdrew afterward on account of an enfilading fire. It appears that Sheridan did not attack, his order not having reached in time, and his troops being scattered. He will go in the morning. . . . Hancock moved during the night to Cold Harbor, where his advance arrived about daylight His rear is now (6 a. m.) marching past these headquarters. In conjunction with Wright and Smith, he will this morning fall upon Lee's right. . . Warren and Burnside are ordered to open as soon as they hear that the three corps on our left have begun the battle. . . . . Our line now extends from near the Chickahominy to Totopotomoy creek, but Burnside is ordered to withdraw from the right to the center, as rapidly as possible.

In a dispatch to the secretary of war, June 1st, Lee wrote:

There has been skirmishing along the lines to-day. General Anderson and General Hoke attacked the enemy, in their front, this afternoon, and drove them to their intrenchments. This afternoon the enemy attacked General Heth and were handsomely repulsed by Cooke's and Kirkland's brigades. Generals Breckinridge and Mahone drove the enemy from their front.

On the 2d, Lee again wrote:

Yesterday afternoon the enemy's cavalry were reported to be advancing, by the left of our line, toward Hanover Court House and Ashland. General Hampton, with Rosser's brigade, proceeded to meet them. Rosser fell upon their rear, and charged down the road toward Ashland, bearing everything before him. His progress was arrested, at Ashland, by the intrenchments of the enemy, when he changed his direction and advanced up the Fredericksburg railroad. Gen. W. H. F. Lee came up at this time, with part of his division, and a joint attack was made. The enemy was quickly driven from his place and pursued toward Hanover Court House until dark.

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